Modern Methods of Construction

Higher National Certificate

Accredited by University College Birmingham

This course is subject to validation and approval

Award

HNC

Course Level

Undergraduate

Duration

1 years FT (2 years PT)

Entry

September, January

Fees

View Fees

School - Sustainable Construction
Discover more at our next open day

Saturday 13 April 2024

Join an open day

When used appropriately Modern Methods of Construction has the potential to improve resource efficiency, build quality, environmental performance and predictability of delivery. 

There is an increasing demand for skilled professionals capable of implementing Modern Methods of Construction, contributing to the growth and advancement of the construction industry.

The Modern Methods of Construction Higher National Certificate provides a comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for success in today's construction industry. Through a series of engaging units, learners on this course can develop their professional skills in project design, technology, environmental sustainability, and digital applications.

Beginning with construction design project management, students gain proficiency in construction drawing, CAD, and BIM, enabling them to analyse scenarios and produce innovative design proposals. Subsequent units cover construction technology, emphasizing resource efficiency and environmental sustainability, while also addressing tendering, procurement, and project management fundamentals.

The curriculum also focuses on digital applications for Building Information Modelling (BIM), highlighting its role in enhancing project efficiency, reducing costs, and promoting sustainability. Graduates emerge ready to implement modern construction methods, leverage technology, and contribute to sustainable built environments, making them valuable assets in this rapidly growing sector.

Why should I choose this course?

  • EXPERT TUITION – Learn from our highly-qualified staff with extensive practical knowledge of construction - supported by expert guest lecturers 
  • MODERN METHODS – There is a firm focus on sustainability and health and safety to meet the demands of the future  
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Get hands-on experience studying in our cutting-edge construction facilities  
  • NO EXAMS - If you are not keen on exams, this course is for you. Unlike many courses in this field, you will have no written exams during or at the end of the course and will be assessed through coursework only 
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

Our facilities

Students on our construction and engineering courses learn in brand new real-world training environments. Our Sustainable Construction Skills Centre at the iconic James Cond Building offers state-of-the-art facilities specifically designed to develop skills that support employers and their supply chains, along with further specialist facilities for design and IT skills at Camden House. Facilities include: 

Design studios with industry standard CAD software (AutoCAD and Revit) 
•3D printers and plotters 
•Renewable energy simulators 
•Hydraulics test equipment 
•Production line technology 
•Total Station Surveying Tools
•Control engineering rigs

•Control engineering rigs
•Cyber physical system 
•Mechatronics automation 
•PLCs 
•Fluid dynamics software 
•Enhanced IT facilities

James Cond Building

Formerly a print works, this historic art deco building will become the home of our new Engineering and Sustainable Construction Centre.

Camden House

Our refurbishment of Camden House will create a bespoke STEM education and training facility.

Entry requirements 

Entry requirements

Tariff: A minimum of 64 UCAS Tariff points is required from any combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications: A-level, BTEC, Access to HE Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, T-Level, or the International Baccalaureate. The following T-Levels include Level 3 Maths – Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing, Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction.  

GCSEs: Students should also have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Maths and GCSE English language or Functional Skills Level 2 as an alternative to either.  

Work-based: Equal consideration is given to applicants who are currently in relevant construction work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, they must have a minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, demonstrating technical, management or supervisory duties. Any application must also include a reference from their line manager which supports entry to higher education.   

Course breakdown

  • Year 1

Core Modules

Construction Design Project 

Topics included in this unit are project phases, construction drawing, detailing, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Building Information Modelling (BIM), schedules, specifications, bills of quantities and information collaboration. On successful completion of the unit, you will be able to analyse scenarios, make decisions and produce drawings and specifications to achieve appropriate, creative and innovative home design proposals.  

Construction Technology

Scarcity of resources, continuing demand of more sophisticated clients, end users and other stakeholders are driving the construction industry to provide buildings that facilitate enhanced environmental and energy performance. This unit introduces the different technological concepts used to enable the construction of building elements from sub structure to completion by understanding the different functional characteristics and design considerations needed selecting the most suitable solution.

The Construction Environment 

In this unit, you will explore the make-up and the impact of the construction industry on the environment and society. By exploring the roles and relationships of individuals and organisations in the construction sector, you will gain an overview of the organisational and the personal ways in which the construction sector works to continue to improve the built environment and limit its impact on the environment, while maintaining economic sustainability and growth.

Principles of Off-site Construction

Off-site construction offers a range of potential benefits for increasing the efficiency, accuracy and quality of the end product. In this unit you will explore different approaches to off-site construction, focussing on building developments and delivery. It includes modular construction, factory construction, automation, robotics and 3D printing. At the end of this unit you will be able assess potential options for off-site production and develop design and manufacturing strategies to enable efficient building delivery.

Tender & Procurement

This unit aims to give you the knowledge to be able to select a procurement route and an appropriate tendering method in the awarding of a project to a main contractor. You will learn how to prepare a tender package to procure a contractor for a construction project. Topics included in thit unit include tendering constraints, documentation needed to send out a tender, the factors that affect procurement and procurement methods to select a contractor. On successful completion of this unit you will be able to obtain an estimate for a project at the design stage using a suitable procurement method.

Principles of Alternative Energy 

The aim of this unit is to develop your knowledge of current and future energy technologies and to be able to apply that knowledge to the analysis and assessment of their effectiveness. You will also apply your knowledge and research to a design activity. On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to research and design alternative energy systems and assess new technologies available to the construction industry. 

Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an approach to information generation and management in a collaborative environment. BIM aims to endue better information is created, shared and kept secure for the whole duration of a building from cradle to grave. This includes all phases of construction from the initial design, during construction, operation and maintenance to the eventual decommission of a construction project. This unit will give you the background knowledge, terminology and understanding of BIM in construction as well as an understanding of the drivers and benefits associated with BIM.

Digital Applications for Building Information Modelling 

Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the use of data in the planning, construction and operation of built assets has become commonplace for both large and small projects. The ability to manage projects throughout their lifecycle, using a common data set, has the potential to impact on the built environment in numerous ways such as supporting efficiency, reducing costs and driving sustainability.   While BIM is, effectively, a process of information management through a project lifecycle, it is most often based on the use of digital applications to generate project data. In this, the model is central in the process of designing and producing information that will facilitate construction and, later, the operation of the built asset. In this unit, you will explore the key processes in using digital applications to produce data and construction information that will enable the BIM process. 

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Teaching 
A wide variety of teaching methods will be used to ensure you gain the appropriate skills and knowledge, including lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and group study sessions. Face-to-face classes will be combined with practical research activities in our state-of-the-art construction facilities, while you will also conduct independent and online learning. 

Assessment 
Assessment occurs through a combination of assignments and projects with a focus on the holistic development of practical, interpersonal and higher-level skills. Many modules will require a demonstration of skills, while others will require you to carry out your own research and analysis, working independently or as part of a team. 

Our assessments will focus on developing the skills required by a professional building services engineer – designing and demonstrating a building system, delivering presentations and technical report writing aimed at technical and non-technical audiences to broaden your range of skills. 

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time. 

Assessment for this course will be 100% coursework. 

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student or an EU student with settled/pre-settled status enrolling on a full-time HND in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be approximately £9,250 per each full year. UK students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

An HNC is a part-time programme, and the fees would therefore be approximately £4,625 per full year of the programme.

Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.

"Costs of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) are set to drop by a third over the next few years. Combined with the improvements MMC give in meeting deadlines, sustainability, health and safety, MMC will be a key concept for future construction projects."

Deborah Bunce MICE Head of Sustainable Construction

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Site manager

Average Salary: £45,000

Housebuilding contracts manager

Average Salary: £46,000

Assistant site manager

Average Salary: £38,000

Project manager residential construction

Average Salary: £55,000

Hired

We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

 

Find out more

Jon’s Story

An expert in sustainable practice, Jon says there are many advantages to studying engineering at University College Birmingham.

Read Story

Undergraduate students

Take the next step...

    

Back to top